Although Augmented Reality (AR) is a term that goes back to the beginning of the 1990s, it took almost a decade until with the open source ARToolKit by Hirokazu Kato of the Nara Institute of Science and Technology a first software became available that contained the key features of what we consider nowadays to be real AR: Combining real-world video tracking with overlaid contextual information and 3D virtual objects.
But only with the appearance of smartphones, lightweight tablets and now smartglasses did the use cases leave the restrictions behind that used to make its application in business use cases cumbersome: Either spatial restriction to your home computer or laptop, or the required usage of very specialized and often relatively heavyweight equipment that contained camera, information system, sensors etc.
There is no doubt that Augmented Reality (AR) gives developers magnificent ways to enrich the user experience of their applications: The application context information itself, either textual or visualized as virtual objects either in 2D or 3D, becomes a part of the reality of the end user by being actively linked to this reality via image recognition, location services and the measurements of various sensors.
With all these pieces of the game in place, business applications using AR are on their way to become state of the art. SAP itself has started on this path by recently making the SAP AR Warehouse Picker and SAP AR Service Technician available to the market.
Late in 2013, we at SAP Co-Innovation Lab (COIL) engaged with Austrian company Wikitude GmbH, a leading innovator in the AR space. While on one hand Wikitude offers its own cloud-based application for easy AR app delivery, it as well offers its technology via an SDK to application developers. In parallel, Wikitude is strongly in engaged in the standardization efforts around AR with their CTO Martin Lechner being the convenor of the ARML 2.0 SWG as part of the Open Geospatial Consortium.
As a first step, COIL and Wikitude focused on running a Proof of Concept for integrating this SDK with SAP Mobile Platform 3.0. Having succeeded, we connected Wikitude with Swiss customer Marenco Swisshelicopter AG and its consulting division Marenco Swissconsulting AG (since Jan 1 2015 named allvisual AG) to develop a first visionary showcase which was presented at the Augmented Reality Expo in Santa Clara:
[Click on the image above for a live demonstration.]
Based on this first vision of enabling Marenco service mechanics, COIL, Marenco/allvisual and Wikitude requested Orianda Solutions AG to join as implementation partner. Orianda is an internationally operating consulting company based in Switzerland that provides (amongst others) SAP consulting and implementation services with a focus on Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and mobility applying future-oriented technologies like augmented reality or predictive maintenance.
The now complete team is currently jointly working on implementing an end-to-end AR-enhanced E2E Asset Maintenance Scenario tailored for both service mechanics as well as pilots to ensure the strong requirements for helicopter maintenance.
At SAP TechEd && d-code you will be able to see the results and learn about the building blocks needed to successfully build your own AR application within a realistic business scenario based on a complex overall SAP Solution Landscape [Expert Networking Session EXP17451 – “Augmented Reality and SAP – An End-to-End Use Case”; Wed Nov 12 14:00 – 14:30].
In addition, we have asked Wikitude to hold a separate Expert Networking Session to present to and discuss with you various aspects of AR like typical use cases, device-dependent form-factors and how to integrate AR features into your own applications based on SAP Mobile Platform. Hear as well about latest developments in the standardization efforts around ARML 2.0 within the Open Geospatial Consortium [Expert Networking Session EXP17452 – “Enhancing Applications with Augmented Reality: Development Aspects”; Wed Nov 12 15:30 – 16:00].
Please do not forget to add the following valuable sessions to your agenda as well! :
|EXP17683||SAP, Digital Eyewear, Augmented Reality, and More||Wed Nov 12, 14:30 – 15:00|
|EXP17683||SAP, Digital Eyewear, Augmented Reality, and More||Thu Nov 13, 11:00 – 11:30|
|EXP17860||How to Make Best Use of the Spatial Features of SAP HANA||Wed Nov 12, 16:30 – 17:00|
|TEC109||Google Glass – SAP Experiences and Challenges of a New Interaction Paradigm||Wed Nov 12, 11:00 – 12:00|
|DEV103||Mapping the World with SAP HANA Geospatial Engine||Wed Nov 12, 18:00 – 19:00|